Need a reason to golf?

Choose from three, local benefit tournaments
By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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At Lincoln Hills Golf Course, 1005 Sun City Lane, Lincoln

Who: American Legion Post 775 and the Loomis Firefighters Association

What: Benefits Del Oro High School Class of 2013 Safe and Sober Grad Night

When: 8:30 a.m., Saturday, April 13

Cost: $95, including dinner

Needed: Golfers, sponsors, raffle and auction prizes

Info: Call 652-0273, 304-6106, 607-3056 or 652-6836


Who: American Legion Post 775

What: Benefits Del Oro Aquatic Center

When: 1 p.m., Saturday, May 5

Cost: $95, including dinner

Needed: Golfers, sponsors, raffle and auction prizes

Info: 663-1487, 652-0273 or 652-6836.


Who: American Legion Post 775

What: Benefits Boy Scouts Troop 12

When: 8 a.m., Saturday, May 18

Cost: $85, including dinner

Needed: Golfers, sponsors, raffle and auction prizes

Info: 652-0273, 652-6836 or 652-7495

Two former Loomis mayors are organizing golf tournaments to support the community, giving golfers three good reasons to spend time on the links.

Tom Millward, Russ Kelley and the American Legion Post 775, where they are both members, will hold tournaments to support local youth and Del Oro High School.

It all started in 2007 when the Loomis Fire Protection District was in danger of closing its doors and then-mayor Tom Millward and vice mayor Russ Kelley decided to put on a golf tournament to raise money for employee wages and administrative costs.

They not only raised $22,500 to keep the Fire District running, but launched a new labor of love that is helping other local nonprofits.

“From then on people kept asking us to help them raise money for other charities and we couldn’t say ‘No.’ We jumped in and helped any charity for the community or the youth,” said Millward, who has lived in Loomis for 40 years and retired from the California Highway Patrol in 1994.

This spring American Legion Post 775 is teaming up with the Loomis Firefighters Association on Saturday, April 13 to sponsor a tournament to benefit the Del Oro High School Class of 2013 Safe and Sober Graduation Party. 

On Saturday May 5, the American Legion will hold a four-man best scramble to raise funds for the Del Oro Aquatic Center and another tournament for Loomis Boy Scouts of America Troop 12 on Saturday, May 18.

To date, Millward and Kelley have co-chaired seven golf tournaments to raise a total of $63,400 for many local groups. That includes $14,000 for Boy Scouts Troop 12, $5,000 for Five Cities Girls Softball League, $14,200 for Del Oro Lady Eagles Sports, $3,000 at the Jim Keller Classic for the Chamber of Commerce, and $5,000 for the Del Oro Aquatic Center.

Millward said it takes between one to three months to organize a golf tournament. Ideally, they try to have 144 golfers to fill up the whole course, but they need a minimum of 50 to put on a tournament. American Legion Post 775 Commander Fuzzy Jarnagan also does a lot behind the scenes to make the tournaments successful, and all proceeds go directly to the charity.

“We bring the backing of the American Legion, schedule the date and time with the golf course and arrange to do the dinner in the Memorial Hall afterwards. The American Legion does the bar and we get a caterer for the food,” said Kelley, a 48-year Loomis resident who retired from Surewest in 2000.

The only thing they ask from the charities benefiting from the tournament is to help furnish golfers, advertising, sponsors and prizes, he said. They also encourage them to get out and participate in the tournaments so the golfers get to meet the kids they are helping.

 “So far, we’ve held all our tournaments at Lincoln Hills because they’ve been so generous and always give us five or six foursomes. We typically use them as prizes and raffle or auction them off,” Millward said.

Millward and Kelley donate all their time spent organizing the tournaments. They pay to play in every tournament they run and can count on a group of 15 to 20 friends to join them every time. They also appreciate all the support they receive from Loomis businesses, who consistently sponsor foursomes and donate prizes.

“We have the most generous businesses in town, if they can help they will. When people ask us why we do this, we tell them ‘Just because we can.’ We know how to do it and get people to help us so it’s not about us. It’s about people working together to help our community and the kids,” Kelley said.